The IEP &the Question

We had King Ben’s yearly IEP meeting last week. I’m always amazed at how many people are at these meetings. On one hand it makes me really happy that he’s getting so much support. On the other hand I’m sad that he needs so much support. I missed the first part of the meeting because it was scheduled for an hour before school starts and I needed to stay home to put him on the bus. We learned a long time ago that he doesn’t do well at these meetings.

Side note – I’m the King’s grandma and I basically co-parent with his mom, my daughter. His Auntie, younger daughter, also lives with us. Ben knows the words “Mom” and “Grandma” but to him they are just our names. He just knows that we are the ones that take care of him…parents.

Anyway, I missed the first part of the meeting and boy did I miss a lot. They’ve had no problems with him trying to elope. He’s not hitting. They are completely dropping his Behavior Plan. This is after three weeks at the new school. THREE. WEEKS. I was so nervous about the change in school but, WOW, what great news.

Then we move on to education goals. He is so far behind. He’s in third grade but academically closer to early K. He’s been bounced from teacher to teacher and this is his third school. I’m not surprised he couldn’t focus on learning. We’re going to be focusing more on that now especially since the “behavior problems” are gone.

Then, as the meeting is almost over, the question…. “Do you have ABA at home?” No. We do not. They put on their smiles and tell us how much better he would do with ABA. We put on our smiles and assure them we’ll start working on getting ABA for him.

But here’s the dilemma…should we get ABA? The doctors and the teachers all promise it will bring miracle changes for the better. Many autistic adults have said it was stressful, painful and like being tortured. When it comes to who to believe I have to go with the autistic adults.

As always, how do we know whether we’re doing the right thing or not? We don’t. I guess as humans we never do. All I know for sure at this point is next year there will be another IEP meeting and the question will come up again.